Woolworths will remove single-use plastic bags from one of its stores during a six-month trial period in a bid to end plastic pollution, the retailer said on Monday. From November, Woolworths will not offer any plastic bags at its Steenberg store in Cape Town, with customers having the choice of either bringing their own bags or paying R5.50 for a reusable bag. SA does not have a law banning plastic bags. However, to reduce littering and discourage customers from buying them, the plastic bag levy increased in April by 50% to 12c a bag. Woolworths’ head of sustainability Feroz Koor said research had shown that the levy introduced in 2003 has not curbed the country’s plastic shopping bag consumption. He said the retailer aims to phase out plastic bags by 2020.

“When you consider that Woolworths currently sells about 140-million plastic bags a year, which is between six to seven tons of plastic, helping consumers choose reusable bags will make a significant impact on reducing pla...

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